Monday, February 25, 2013

Today in Umlauts: Hästkött (Swedes love it)

Following up on yesterday's "Automation Steals Jobs: Röböts Playing Motörhead".
From Foreign Policy's Passport blog:

The untold story of the Ikea meatball scandal is that Swedes love horse meat
It's tough to stomach, but Ikea is the latest big-name food maker to be felled by the no-it-isn't-beef-it's-horse-meat-scandal that is quickly spreading across Europe. Czech authorities alerted the discount furniture maker that they had found horsemeat in a sample of meatballs, and Ikea subsequently pulled the product from stores in 14 countries.

Ikea is of course outraged and put out a strongly worded statement promising that the company would get to the bottom of how the tainted Swedish staple turned up in stores. "We do not tolerate any other ingredients than the ones stipulated in our recipes or specifications, secured through set standards, certifications and product analysis by accredited laboratories," the company said.

The untold story in all of this is that Swedes love horse meat. Marketed under the name hamburgerkött -- that's right, "hamburger meat" -- Swedes put the stuff on toast, sandwiches, and the like. Consider, for example, Pärsons' (slogan: "Sandwich joy for the whole family!") version of hamburgerkött. They lead with the euphemistic name on the package, but a quick peek at the ingredients tells the real story -- hästkött, or horse meat.

Curious where the horses are sourced from? South America.
Which makes this headline from The Local not as brave as it otherwise might be:
Ikea official: I'd still eat our Swedish meatballs

Now about those East German forced labor camps...